Filling All Of Our Rest Buckets

This past year has felt like it was a decade long. Last time I posted on my blog I had just wrapped up a three month sabbatical. I was relaxed, refreshed, and ready to start a new role on a new team here at Automattic. I had grand plans for blogging more, among other things, and I did – well none of it. A lot happened a lot in the past year, and a lot lies ahead for me which I’ll get to soon here on the blog. First though, I wanted to share one big thing I’ve taken away from this tumultuous time.

When I came back from sabbatical, I had largely used the time to recover from burnout. I’ve experienced burnout a couple times in my life now, and learned a lot about myself from each period I experience it and how to try to prevent it from the future. This time, I felt like I’d finally built some great habits, better boundaries, and would see it coming and stop it in it’s tracks!

Burnout defenses – meet a Global Pandemic

I won’t relive the events of the past year here. We all know the stories, and we all have suffered in different ways. Looking back over this time, how I’ve felt, how I want to feel, I realized that how I took care of myself before wasn’t clear enough to replicate in this weird moment in my life. What does this mean? Well, I wasn’t sure exactly until I listened to this podcast the other weekend.

I knew all of the different things to take care of myself and ways to make myself feet good or at least better. But I didn’t realize that I could really group them into buckets, and that sometimes certain buckets need to be refilled more than others. It all makes so much sense I don’t know why I didn’t picture it in my brain this way before?

Anyway, here are the buckets of rest as explained by Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith. Dr. Dalton-Smith goes into greater detail about this in her book, Sacred Rest. I did end up picking up the book, however there are some religious tones throughout the book. If that isn’t your thing and you are just looking for something more high level I recommend simply listening to the podcast above in full. Anyway, here are the 7 types of rest as she outlines:

  1. Physical
  2. Mental
  3. Emotional
  4. Spiritual (not necessarily religious though)
  5. Social
  6. Sensory
  7. Creative

Essentially, we need different types of restorative rest at different points in our day, week, and life. Each person experiences different levels of need in each area, and there are different signs you are exhibiting an imbalance that can vary.

I did some journaling and gave a lot of thought to the things I do regularly, the things I don’t, and what makes me feel good. This helped me identify a few items I wanted to make sure I do more regularly to help me feel good and more relaxed. Then, I added them into the Done app, which helps me remember to do them and also track when I do, so if I’m feeling bad I can easily see what I’ve done and not done to better understand how I can help myself.

I’m terrible at taking care of plants, thus the reminder πŸ˜‚

I work from home, so I am constantly looking at a computer or phone all day, most days. I’ve found that when I don’t get outside enough, move my body enough, or nurture my mind enough that I don’t feel good. So every day I have these as a reminder to myself to do the things that make me feel at my best and rest. They’ll likely change with time, especially as they become more habitual, but it works for me right now.

How do you rest? Do you identify with the above?

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